Late Sunday browsing the newspaper...
A pretty good full page piece about getting to Virginia City by train in today's San Francisco Chronicle, with mention and a photo of inside the Mark Twain Museum in that "Mile and a Quarter High City". The train, by the Virginia & Truckee RR, is a restored steam type. Shut down in 1938, V&T has come back to life, with most of the run re-opening at the end of May this year, with an extension into downtown Carson being worked on. It's about a 2,000 feet climb from Carson to VC. You can gamble (call it "gaming" in Nevada), drink in a preserved saloon, hang out with real miners, and tour the cemetery and a mine. Rest assured - the town is quite authentically 1800s. You'll love it, especially if you go up on Saturday, back down Sunday.
The piece should be easy to access by going here;
to Travel - California and the West
Mining for historical gold aboard rail line
Note that the Chron, like many papers, only lets you access stories free for a few days, so if you have a problem getting the full article with photos, write to me and I'll send the full piece as a Word or Open Office attachment (say which).
For the tourism pitch, go to: www.visitvirginiacitynv.com
For the VC MT bookstore: www.marktwainbooks.com
The writer, Allen Matthews, assumes you'll drive to Carson to take the train, but a public transport option is available: train to Reno from east or west, take regional bus service down to Carson. Timing is tricky, as the V&T train leaves pretty early. Another bus can get you to South Tahoe, but renting a car in Carson or Reno will give you more options, such as circling the lake. I'm not sure exactly where along the shore twain had his land claim and structure that burned (Roughing It). Don't know that he remembered the spot.